Welcome to the AA School Graduate application page. If you wish to apply to the AA Graduate School please follow the steps below which will guide you through the process. Please be aware that the first application deadline for the 2015/16 academic year intake is November 2014. This is for applicants who would like an early offer. If you have any queries, please contact the Graduate Admissions Team.
- Choose your course
- Check the entry requirements
- Visit the school
- How and when to apply
- Receiving the decision
- Accepting your offer / paying your deposit
- Fees and financial assistance
- Tier 4 (General) Student VISA Information
- Student life (under construction)
The AA Graduate School includes 12 postgraduate programmes offering advanced studies for students with prior academic and professional experience. It is an important part of the larger AA School, which is one of the world's most dynamic, experimental and international learning environments.
Unless otherwise noted, all programmes are full-time courses of study, and all students join the school in September at the outset of a new academic year. For full details of the programmes available please see the Graduate Programme page.
It is crucial that you apply for the graduate programme most suited to your existing research interests, your personal and professional goals and your background, as it is not possible to apply for more than one programme or transfer programmes once you have accepted your place.
Institution / School Validation
The AA School achieved the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Review for Educational Oversight with full confidence in 2012, plus successful QAA Annual Reports in 2013 and 2014, and maintains Highly Trusted Sponsor status with the Home Office / UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
The AA is an Approved Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of the Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate courses at the AA are validated by The OU. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.
You are required to meet the minimum academic and reference requirements outlined below for your desired programme. Overseas applicants must also meet the English language qualifications requirement.
Successful applicants who are awaiting the outcome of future examination results will be issued a conditional offer. These conditions must be met by the date outlined on the offer letter in order to be eligible to enter the 2015/16 academic year.
Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2015 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2015/16 academic year.
Minimum Academic Requirements
- MA History & Critical Thinking (12 months): Second Class Honours or above degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British university, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course no less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MA Housing & Urbanism (12 months): Second Class Honours or above honours degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British university, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course no less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MArch Housing & Urbanism (16 months): Five-year professional degree in architecture or a related discipline (BArch/ Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Landscape Urbanism* (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, geography, engineering or other relevant discipline
- MArch Landscape Urbanism* (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree or diploma in architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, urban planning, geography, engineering or other relevant discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MArch in Architecture & Urbanism (Design Research Laboratory) (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Emergent Technologies & Design (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering, industrial/product design or other relevant discipline
- MArch Emergent Technologies & Design (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree or diploma in architecture, engineering, industrial/product design or other relevant discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Sustainable Environmental Design (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering or other relevant discipline
- MArch Sustainable Environmental Design (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Design & Make* (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering or other relevant discipline. Please note this course is held in Hook Park, Dorset.
- MArch Design & Make (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent). Please note this course is held in Hook Park, Dorset
- MA in Spatial Performance & Design** (AAIS) (12 months): Second Class or above Honours Degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British University or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course lasting not less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MFA in Spatial Performance and Design** (AAIS) (18 months): Second Class or above Honours Degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British University or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course lasting not less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- Taught MPhil Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) (20 months): Open to candidates with a four or five-year degree in architecture (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MPhil or PhD candidates: Candidates for MPhil/PhD research degrees must already hold an appropriate post-professional Master’s degree in their proposed area of MPhil/PhD research. Applicants for PhD in Architectural Design must also hold a five-year professional degree in architecture and will be expected to submit a design portfolio
- Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Historic Buildings (day-release): Open to students/professionals with Part 2 (ARB/RIBA) or equivalent recognised qualifications. Suitably qualified members of other disciplines (e.g., surveyors, planners) may be considered. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK are not eligible to apply for this course
* Subject to approval and validation by The Open University.
** Subject to the approval of the MFA award and the validation of the MA/MFA programmes by The Open University.
Disclaimer: The Architectural Association School of Architecture (Inc.) reserves the right to vary or omit all or any of its facilities, tuition or activities, or amend in any substantial way any of the facilities, tuition or activities for which students may have enrolled. Students shall have no claim against the AA in respect of any alteration made to the course.
Applicants must submit two references with the online application form: one related to work experience, the other academic. If the applicant has no work experience two academic references are required. References must be on headed paper and signed. No application will be considered before two references have been received.
English Language Requirements
To meet both the AA and the Home Office/UKVI English language requirements you will need to have one of the acceptable language qualifications listed below, unless you are from one of the following groups:
- You are a national of a majority English-speaking country as defined per the list on the UKVI website https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/knowledge-of-english;
- You have successfully completed an academic qualification of at least three years’ duration, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UKVI (Tier 4 Policy Guidance version 06/11/2014 paragraph 129) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student; or
- You successfully completed a course in the UK as a Tier 4 (Child) student visa holder. The course must have lasted for at least six months, and must have ended no more than two years prior to your visa application.
If your place is conditional on providing an English language qualification the following qualifications satisfy both the requirements of the Home Office/UKVI and the entry requirements of the AA:
NEW UK Visa and Immigration changes to English Language Tests – 6th April 2015 onwards
On Friday 20 February 2015 UK Visas and Immigration updated its list of approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT).
Applicants planning on taking an English language test before 5th April 2015 can still take any of the tests outlined below:
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English at grade C1 or C2 – (in each component AA entry requirement is Borderline grade – since January 2015)
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English at grade C2 – (in each component AA entry requirement is Borderline grade – since January 2015)
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic) overall minimum of 63 with a score of at least 59 in each category
- Trinity College (Integrated Skills in English) at grade C1 (ISEIII) or C2 (ISEIV)
However, from 6th April 2015 the AA and UKVI will only accept tests from the following two providers:
- Trinity College London (Integrated Skills in English) – AA requirement – C1 (ISEIII) or C2 (ISEIV)
- IELTS Academic (IELTS SELT Consortium – Cambridge English Language Assessment) – AA Requirement – 6.5 overall with a 6.0 in each band
Applicants are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores and we cannot combine test results across multiple score sheets.
Please be aware that in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants who require an English language examination must have booked and passed one of the approved examinations listed above by 30 January 2015. All other applicants must submit their English language examination results by Friday 29 May 2015, prior to entry in Term 1.
The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.
- The specified evidence submitted by the applicant must show that he/she has achieved the required score in all the relevant components during a single sitting of the examination.
- You are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores.
- IELTS reports have a two year validity period. The certificate must bear a date no longer than two years ago at the time of CAS/visa application. The AA requires a copy of the original certificate. Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form. This can be found on your TRF displayed as UKVI number.
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English and Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English – The test is valid only until the 5th November 2015 for a UK Immigration application when taken on or before 5th April 2015. For tests taken before 6 April 2013 the AA will require a copy of the original certificate, Statement of results, Candidate ID number and Candidate’s secret number (applicants should provide Statement of Entry if possible) For tests taken on or after 6 April 2013 the AA will be required to verify your results using your name, date of birth and passport number.
- The Pearson Test of English - The test is valid only until the 5th November 2015 for a UK Immigration application when taken on or before 5th April 2015. Pearson does not issue paper certificates. Applicants are required to print out their online score report and send a copy to the AA in addition to submitting it to the UKVI online for verification.
- Trinity College (Integrated Skills in English) have a two year validity period. The AA requires a copy of the original certificate. Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form.
Please note the English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations. It is the applicant’s responsibility to remain up to date with all changes, which can be accessed on the Home Office/UKVI website (Appendix O of the Immigration Rules www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-o)
Open Days and Events
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the AA. Graduate Open Days are an opportunity to meet current students and staff, tour the AA's facilities, view presentations of student work and get advice on the application process. These events will be held on:
- Thursday 6th November 2014 (6pm – 8pm)
- Friday 23rd January 2015 (10am - 1pm)
All prospective graduate students interested in our MArch, MA, MSc, PhD, MPhil and Grad Dip programmes are welcome to attend. Please note, if you are interested in gaining ARB/RIBA Part 2, please attend one of our Undergraduate Open Days.
For further details and information please register your interest in attending the Open Days.
We also invite applicants to attend the Architecture and Urbanism (DRL) Final Jury which will take place on Friday 23 January 2015 from 10am until 6pm.
Individual or group visits for those interested in applying can also be arranged with advance notice. For further details please contact the Graduate Admissions Team on T + 44 (0) 20 7887 4007/4067 or email@example.com
- Optional early offers close: Friday 28 November 2014*
- Early (Winter) applications close: Friday 30 January 2015*
- Late (Spring) applications close: Friday 13 March 2015
- Applications made after this date may be accepted at the discretion of the school.
* To apply for a bursary, graduate applicants must submit no later than 30 January 2015 stating their interest in an AA bursary in the 'Finances and Funding' section. Please be aware that in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants who require an English language examination must have booked and passed one of the approved English language examinations by Friday 30 January 2015.
The AA is a private institution. Anyone interested in applying to the AA must:
- Complete the online application form;
- Pay the relevant application fee; and
- Submit a portfolio of design work (all applicants with the exception of History and Critical Thinking and Building Conservation)
Prior to completing the form applicants should carefully read the Entry Requirements for their chosen programme. The application procedure is the same for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying form.
Applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided, and the AA has received a bound portfolio (if applicable). Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application. It is therefore advisable that you start preparing this documentation now.
Once you register to complete the form you will be able to access the full application details. However, please be aware that you must submit scanned copies of your academic records or transcripts which include a detailed list of subjects taken and marks attained.
If you have completed your degree, please upload both the degree certificate and your transcripts (covering all years of study). If you have not completed your degree, please upload all academic transcripts to date. Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2015 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2015/16 academic year.
Overseas applicants should provide documents in English. The AA can only accept official translations bearing the stamp and signature of the translator. Please also include scanned copies of the un-translated certificates and transcripts.
You will also be required to submit a reference as outlined above. Referees who would prefer to send the reference to us directly can do so by post to:
No. 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application (i.e. you will not be completing your current year of study), you must inform us as soon as possible. The AA reserves the right to withdraw an offer of a place if you fail to inform us of significant changes in your circumstances.
Upon signing the application form applicants certify that the work submitted is entirely their own. Plagiarism is unacceptable in the academic setting. Students are subject to penalties including dismissal from the course if they commit an act of plagiarism.
If you have any enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit Your Portfolio
With the exception of History and Critical Thinking and Conservation of Historic Buildings, all applicants are required to submit a hard copy, bound portfolio of design work, no larger than A4 format, showing a combination of both academic and professional work (if applicable). The AA does not accept digital portfolios.
You must send your portfolio by post or courier to arrive at the AA by 6.00pm on:
- Friday 28 November 2014 for Optional Early Offer deadline
- Friday 30 January 2015 for Early (Winter) deadline
- Friday 13 March 2015 for late applications.
The portfolio should be clearly labelled with a completePortfolio Cover Sheet (PDF) and be addressed and sent to: Graduate Admissions, No 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the portfolio arrives by the deadline. If it arrives after final application deadline, it may be accepted at the discretion of the School.
All applications will only be acknowledged by email. Decisions on applications are normally given within six to eight weeks of receiving the application. Applicants who need to meet funding deadlines should submit their application as early as possible. Please indicate the funding deadline in your application and the AA will make every effort to ensure that you are notified of the decision as soon as possible.
Step 1 – Entry Requirements
Applications are initially assessed to ensure that they meet the academic entry requirements outlined above. Applicants who do not meet the requirements will be informed by email and post. Successful applications will be passed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Application and Portfolio Review
Applications that meet the entry requirements will be assessed by the Programme Director and a second academic member of staff. The directors will carefully consider the personal statement, references and portfolio.
The Graduate School does not insist on an interview as a condition of entry. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the AA for an interview with the programme's academic staff before applying. Appointments can be made through the Graduate Admissions Team.
Applicants will receive a formal letter confirming the outcome of their application. This will be sent by email and by post. Please be aware that in all instances the final decision as to the appropriate level of entry is established by the Programme Directors.
Successful applicants will receive a conditional offer letter from the AA and must send their documents via courier or post to the AA for verification (photocopies will not be accepted). Applicants must send:
- English language certificates as outlined on the above. Applicants requiring a visa must keep the original certificate for the visa application.
- All other documents should be certified true copies. Applicants applying for a visa must keep original documents for the visa application.
Once all the conditions have been met applicants will receive an unconditional offer letter. Applicants must hold an unconditional offer in order to enter the school for the 2015/16 academic year and receive a CAS (if applicable).
Decisions on the admission of applicants are final and there is generally no right of appeal against the decision. The AA will only consider a complaint if there is substantive evidence that the admissions procedure was not correctly followed. Any complaint concerning applications should be addressed to the Head of Admissions, Kirstie Little via email to email@example.com
Accepting Your Place
In order to secure a place at the AA for the 2015/16 academic year the graduate admissions team must receive a signed admission form and a one-term non-refundable / non-transferable deposit by the due date stated on the admissions form. All students join the school in September at the outset of a new academic year.
Applicants cannot defer their entry to the school.
Paying your Deposit
The deposit amounts for the 2014/15 academic year are below:
- MA / MSc / MArch: £7,754
- MPhil / PhD Research Degrees: £6,983
- Taught MPhil: £6,983
- Postgraduate Diploma: £6,047
- Building conservation: £2,060
The deposit will count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the final term of the programme. Please note that applicants in receipt of a bursary cannot use this towards payment of the deposit.
* The deposit amount for the 2015/16 academic year will be confirmed in January 2015.
We understand that fees and financial assistance are important considerations when choosing where to study. This section aims to provide you with a summary of the fees and the financial assistance available to prospective and current students.
Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
Upon securing your place a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) can be issued for students who require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK. This confirmation, together with other documentation, can be used by overseas students to apply for a visa. Please refer to the Home Office/UKVI website for further information:
This section is currently under construction:
The AA does not have halls of residence. However, an accommodation and London living expenses guideline can be found on the AA website. We do offer an accommodation advice service, which is organised by students three weeks before the beginning of the academic year to provide information to help students find housing. (link)
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Admissions Team on +44 (0)20 7887 4007/4067 or firstname.lastname@example.org